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  • Writer's pictureAlaina

Make Your Own Mystery

We had a great time at the library when mystery authors Barbara Ross (Maine Clambake Mysteries), Brenda Buchanan (Joe Gale Mysteries), and Richard Cass (Elder Darrow Jazz Mysteries) joined us for a "Make Your Own Mystery" writers panel. Using suggestions from the audience, the three authors created a mystery story using (often hilarious) suggestions from the audience for character names, motives, settings, weapons, and more. As they created the mystery, they'll also shared how they make decisions when they write their own books. If you're a mystery lover, you'll definitely want to check out this program!

Richard Cass grew up in Boston, lived through the bussing years, and graduated from Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the United States. He’s had the very good fortune to study with such superb writers and teachers as Thomas Williams Jr., Ernest Hebert, and Ursula K. LeGuin, none of whom should be held responsible for how he turned out.

He is the author of the Elder Darrow Boston jazz mystery series, which he pitched as “an alcoholic walks into a dive bar and decides to buy it.” Solo Act was published in January of 2016 and was a finalist for the 2017 Maine Literary Awards in the Crime Fiction category. The prequel to Solo Act, In Solo Time, was published in September, 2017, and won the 2018 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Dick serves on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s New England Chapter and lives in Cape Elizabeth, ME. Reach him at @DickCass on Twitter or through his web site

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries and the Jane Darrowfield Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at

Brenda Buchanan is a lawyer and former journalist who sets her crime novels in and around Portland. The three books in her Joe Gale series, Quick Pivot, Cover Story and Truth Beat, feature a newspaper reporter with modern media savvy covering the cops and crime beat. She’s currently working on a series featuring criminal lawyer Neva Pierce, whose passionate defense of her clients leads her deep into the rough-and-tumble world of Downeast crime. Brenda can be found on the web at

Special thanks to Berwick Community Media for recording this library program.



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